After a full academic year of teaching, Kyeonghi Baek, assistant professor of political science, dedicated four weeks of her summer to learning. Baek received a Warren E. Miller fellowship to participate in the 2012 Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan.
Baek teaches several courses in the Political Science Department, including international political economy and political statistics. She is also the coordinator of the international relations minor. Baek’s personal research is currently focused on how international conflicts affect domestic politics. The ICPSR was a perfect scholarly fit.
From mid-June to mid-July, Baek learned from the country’s top political and social science researchers in Ann Arbor, Michigan. "I had a rare opportunity to study cutting-edge research techniques and teaching methods under the best researchers in my field," Baek said. "I enjoyed working with students and educators who share my interests. I was among brilliant participants who understood nerdy jokes about statistics. It was great."
Of the more than 250 graduate students and professionals that attended the ICPSR summer program, Baek was one of three that were offered the Warren E. Miller fellowship to fund their studies.
In Michigan, Baek enjoyed being on the other side of the lectern. “It was good to be a student for a while," Baek said. "It has helped me better understand the students' perspective—and empathize with all of the homework and readings they’re assigned!"
With part of her summer spent as a student, Baek is excited to bring what she's learned back into her classroom. At ICPSR, Baek was introduced to new research methods, the latest literature and research in her field, and a new statistical language, R, that will allow her to display concepts graphically. "I can now include more practical examples in my classes," Baek said. "I will be able to incorporate what I’ve learned into my own teaching, which will make statistics much easier and enjoyable for my students."
This fall, Baek will teach Introduction to Government and Politics (PSC 101), International Conflict Resolution (PSC 302), and Politics of Globalization (PSC 337).